She was notorious for her paintings of poverty. She painted compassionately the families and children she saw sleeping in boxes, the adults left with nothing, and the forgotten elderly. She was so excited when she had her first showing because she could give the profits back to the community. The night of the art show a reporter asked her why she painted the homeless.
“A dear friend of mine became homeless. It is the way I can give back while honoring his memory” she explained. “He was the encouragement for me to pursue my art. I wouldn’t be here without him.”
The reporter asked what happened to him. She looked at him sadly and said, “He was jumped by two men for the twenty dollars he had just earned. He was so weak from lack of food he barely fought back.” She added, “He didn’t survive the attack.”
The reporter asked for his name. She smiled and said, “I always called him cowboy and that is why in each painting I paint a pair of cowboy boots somewhere so he is always with me.”
The following day the paper told of the turn-out at the art show and how much had been raised for the homeless shelter. There was no mention of her inspiration from cowboy. She shrugged it off and went back to painting a pair of cowboy boots on top of a full shopping cart.
Written for Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (FOWC) – notorious